This house-sit is just one night in a house in Marcoola on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. Like our other house-sits, this one was organised through Trusted House Sitters. And, like our previous house-sit in Cazorla, Spain, this one is an accommodation business called Glanymor Cottage, with rooms that are rented out through Airbnb. There are no guests this weekend, and the owners are going away to nearby Brisbane.
We are here to look after two of our favourite dog breed, golden retrievers. (We've owned three ourselves over 27 years.) These two are Max, an eleven-year-old male, and Dolly, a three year old female. As is typical of golden retrievers, we were their best friends as soon as we met them, and they were perfectly relaxed with us immediately. Here they are; Dolly is the dark one.
Here are some close-ups of Dolly:
What a happy dog!…and what a giant hot-doggy tongue! (after a walk.)
And here's Max:
Max is an old fellow, so he's pretty quiet.
They each have their own sofa, and we were allowed to sit on the sofa with them. Here's Dolly on her sofa:
The house is a short walk from the beach, in a development called Town of Seaside. Unlike earlier coastal developments, especially on the nearby Gold Coast, this development has left a good strip of the littoral forest and coastal wetland behind the fore-dunes. This is intersected by a walking path through the littoral forest and boardwalks and paths that cross the dunes to access the beach. One of the boardwalks, which is called The Boardwalk runs at tree top level above the low littoral forest, and over the wetlands.
The wetlands are paper-bark tea-tree swamps; paper-bark tea-trees will grow with their roots and trunks submerged in deep water.
Here are some close-ups of their unusual bark, which gives them their name.
This is the walking path through the littoral forest.
This path is part of a larger 96 kilometre long path called The Coastal Walkway that runs along the Sunshine Coast and beyond.
The beach here is an eleven-kilometre long stretch of open beach, and because of the strip of littoral forest the beach looks wild and natural. When you are down on the beach you can't see any of the nearby building and you can imagine yourself to be on a wilderness beach in the middle of nowhere... except for the occasional passenger jet that passes overhead when landing or taking-off from the nearby international airport. In fact, it's better that a real wilderness beach, because most of the 'real' wilderness beaches in Queensland (like nearby Teewah Beach) are covered in speeding four-wheel-drive vehicles (SUVs)!
Here's the view looking south along the beach towards the major centres of Maroochydore and Mooloolaba. As we are here during squally and windy weather the sea is very wild.
Here's the view of the surf-life-saver patrolled beach. It's pretty wild and a bit dangerous, which is indicated by the solid yellow flag.
While it may not look very inviting in the picture, the air is very hot and humid and the water is warm, so going in for a swim is still enjoyable, if a little rough and exiting.
Just off the shore a few kilometres south of here there is a small rocky island called Mudjimba Island.
This whole area is overlooked by Mount Coolum, a spectacular basalt rock mostly surrounded by sheer cliffs. There is a popular walking track to the top of Mount Coolum which is well worth the climb for the wonderful view of the coast and the hinterland. We didn’t climb it on this trip (it's best climbed in winter) but we have done so on previous trips.
There is a local Indigenous legend that Mudjimba Island is the head knocked off the shoulders of Mount Coolum by another nearby mountain, Mount Ninderry, in a fight over a woman, Maroochy, whose name is given to the whole district.
If you are travelling to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland you will probably want to go to the major tourist centres such as Noosa, Mooloolaba, and Caloundra, which all have a lot to offer and a lot going on; Marcoola is a much quieter area that services mostly local people. However it's worth visiting for its long, wild, and apparently isolated beach and walk through the littoral forest; walking on such a beach is not something that you can easily get to do in many places in the world (although, nearby Peregian Beach is another place where you can get this experience, on an even longer beach.)
Sunshine Coast Airport (MCY) – the local international airport – is in this area, so if you fly into the Sunshine Coast you may want to hang around for a little while and take a look before you hop on the bus to the tourist centres of Mooloolaba or Noosa.
This is the view through the window of an aeroplane just after taking off from the airport.
The beach in the foreground is Marcoola beach, which runs out to Point Arkwright and the town of Coolum Beach, and then the next long stretch of beach runs to Noosa Heads, and includes Peregian Beach. In the distance is the much longer sweep of beach that runs through Teewah Beach and the Coloured Sands all the way to Double Island Point, and then on to Fraser Island. These are all lovely semi-wilderness beaches that are great for a long walk.
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